Thursday, May 31, 2012

What's Going On (I Feel Old)

We had the BEST ten-year anniversary I've ever had (Haha!) this past weekend! It was so relaxing and fun and full of reconnecting and inside jokes and little moments that add up to this big relationship with my best friend. We had a blast!

We drove to Charlotte and stayed the night in probably the nicest hotel I've ever stayed in. It wasn't anything uber-fancy but it was nice and safe, and they had the best restaurant! Yum! We went to IKEA and Concord Mills Mall and of course, Hobby Lobby, my personal fave!

There's no Hobby Lobby around here (boo!), but I could've stayed and lived in the fabric section of the store alone. We each had designated spending money and let me just say I dropped a lot of mine on some super cute fabrics (I'd share the cute pic of the fabric but Blogger's being obstinate again.)! Not sure yet what I'll do with them (besides stare and drool), but I loved it! CC was hilarious when we walked in and he realized how big the store was. He psyched himself up to be there for a while, which was hilarious. People were staring, that's how hard I was laughing. Such a great weekend!

Once we came home, we served Sunday at church and helped our friend pack up her salon since she's relocating her business. That was fun too but that day I developed a fever blister on my lip.

Having never had such gnarly nastiness on my face before, it's been a rough week for me personally. The workweek has been really great and everything's fine, but the devil has really been using this to tear me down. Making it more difficult is that NO ONE has said anything to me from Sunday to last night. Apparently that's the polite thing to do, but I'd rather just have it out in the open (no pun intended).

Yesterday I finally went to the dermatologist (who apparently can practice medicine at the age of 12) to get some answers for the fever blister as well as some other skin issues I've been having. Basically, I was told I have several skin issues going on (nothing major, but now..), I have a well-stocked 'pharmacy' of creams and lotions at home that I need to apply twice a day. I feel old. And ridiculous.

Is anyone else in this same boat with me? When did we become adults and not young twenty-ish kids anymore? Is this why I need coffee every morning? And chocolate by 3pm every afternoon? I'm starting to feel crotchety. Is it cold in here, whipper-snapper?! (I digress...)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Shopping Finds!

So I've been a little busy lately, what with all the events we have this month. Birthdays, birthdays, anniversaries, birthdays, mother's day, birthdays, oh, and did i mention big birthdays?

We have THREE 60th birthday ladies in the span of about three weeks. That's a big birthday. Not old, but you certainly can't say happy birthday and move along with life.

Needless to say, I've been shopping. I'm obsessed (again!) with etsy and have found some cute things there as well as another find or two, so I thought I'd share.

Find #1:
Etsy Shop

These super adorable vintage mugs and sugar/creamer set! Don't you feel cheery and happier just looking at them? I really wanted to keep them but the hubs said no. He says it's more important to give a really awesome, unique, one-of-a-kind gift to some super cool women. Whatevs. (KIDDING)

Find #2:

My super-awesome, loves-everybody-but-loves-Jesus-more, one-day-I'll-actually-meet-her-in-person, blog friend Hannah just opened her own etsy shop! Right now she's got THE cutest earrings for sale! Super affordable, but totally handmade and gorgeous! Here are the ones on their way to moi!

Aren't you totally jealous?! I was too when I realized she'd already sold this pair. Then elated when she emailed to say she had one pair left. Have I mentioned how amazing and awesome Hannah is? Can't say it enough.

Finally, find #3:

Another gift for one of the important ladies in my life... this pretty is SURE to please any wonderful woman you know!

So go get some lovelies for yourself! Especially from Hannah's shop! Go on now...

Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy Ten, Hot Stuff!

Happy tenth wedding anniversary, CC!

I love you more today than I ever thought possible. I for sure love you more than that day ten years ago. You're my best friend, the one and only love of my life, and my very favoritest person on the planet!

Thank you for loving me when I felt unlovable, for being the Godly man and leader of our home, for being a man that I WANT to submit to (most of the time- haha!), and for being my rock.

I love you so much.

(Here are some of my favorite photos of the two of us. This was a few years ago in a random ChickfilA for lunch with his parents. They happened to snap some shots and they turned out really great! I love them so much these hang framed in my office. It works out since we pretty much look the same!)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Coming Up!

I'm REALLY excited about today and the next few days! Here's why...

Today we have staff Chapel which is when the entire church staff comes together (once a month) for devotion, prayer, food, and fellowship. A lot of laughter is always involved too. Each month a different department is responsible for the agenda, and today it's our turn (the worship arts department)! I love Chapel. We're always so busy Doing, that to just sit and enjoy each other is uncommon.

In that vein, today during Chapel we'll obviously have musical worship (yay!) but something's been on my heart for a long time now that I feel the need to share and haven't been able to. Today presents the perfect opportunity and I'm going to do it. To know me means you realize this is a big deal for me. I DO NOT like lots of people looking at me and I especially do NOT like public speaking. In a good way, not all the staff will be present, but I'll still be speaking to a room of about 35-40 people. I'm turning red just thinking about it. So feel free to be praying for me, please.

What's been on my heart is that on the bad days, the boring days, the overwhelming days, the weak days when satan's just nitpicking at you the entire day... you work for the Lord. He sees you, He loves you, He cares about you, and He'll get you through the weak moments. As Paul says, "Press on..." Just keep going. Or if you're a Nemo fan, just keep swimming! Besides this though, your colleagues see your behind the scenes work. You may not realize the impact you and your role have, but it's extremely important to the life and success of the church, and YOU are valued.

So that's been on my heart. I hope you hear it and apply it to your workplace also. I really think it's a message straight from the Lord for us right now.

So that's this morning. Tonight we're FINALLY seeing our dear friends, Lyn and Catherine. We adore them and they've been very Godly mentors to me since we met in my college days. They have big birthdays close together this month, so we're celebrating tonight. I can't wait! Love them!

In case you aren't yet aware, tomorrow is CC's and my ten-year wedding anniversary (we got married a week after I graduated NCSU)! woohoo! He took the day off from work (I get most Fridays off since I work Sundays), and we're going to Charlotte for a little shopping trip!

We'll be hitting up IKEA, Hobby Lobby (eek!), the outlets, and of course, the Lego store. More importantly, we'll be together for two solid days with no one else and no responsibilities. Yippee!!!

I just hope I remember to take photos so I can share with you when we get back! That's my biggest problem is that I forget to take pics of whatever totally fun thing we're doing. Sigh. I'm getting better though.

Monday, May 21, 2012

What A Weekend!

This weekend started out kind of fun and crazy, and those were the perfect words to describe the entire couple of days! We had a blast!

Mom and Dad are still with us through tomorrow afternoon, and that in and of itself has made for a great time. Friday Mom and I went to get pedicures (LOVE!) and I must say I'm digging the (unknown) color on my tootsies.

So about two weeks ago, Mom and Dad made it VERY CLEAR they wanted two on two time with us early Saturday morning amidst the crazy visit. CC doesn't really do mornings or breakfast, for that matter. But he made an effort and we drove far away to eat at the Golden Frying Pan (or Cracker Barrel, as you may know of it).

Boy were we surprised! Betsy and Carly were there, which we didn't comprehend, then we saw Brad and Susan, and finally Lynn! Mom & Dad and Lynn had been cooking up (for over a month!) a surprise ten-year anniversary party for CC and me! Well it was a huge surprise and we loved it! Mom even had a perfect replica of our groom's cake from ten years ago! Same caterer and everything. Crazy clever! Chocolate cake was a bit much for 9am but it tasted so good! It was a blast and we felt VERY loved.

In reality, our actual anniversary is this upcoming Friday, but I'll blog about that later...

I blame Julie! She made me do it!

Especially in the hot weather and humidity, iced coffee amazingness is where it's at! In a mason jar that can go anywhere?! Oh yes, I'm so there! Google Cuppow and you won't be disappointed. Mine are on their way to my grubby little paws right this minute!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Trust And Needs Vs. Wants

So here's what God's been showing me this week...

Throughout my childhood there were many opportunities where the Lord provided for our needs over and over and over again. We grew up in poverty and it was proven repeatedly that the promise God made to provide our needs was for real. Every time we thought we wouldn't have a roof, or food, or clothes, Jesus made a way and we had what we needed. Because of this, the one thing I know is that God will provide what I need. I trust Him completely for my needs, no questions asked.

What I've realized this week and have been totally convicted of, is that I struggle to trust the Lord to provide my wants. The Bible says He'll give us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4), but I have a hard time with believing this promise.

What if what I want and desire is not within God's will for my life? Does that mean I won't get the desire of my heart? Does it mean He'll change my heart so I desire something different?

What are your thoughts? How has this worked in your life?

God has always provided needs and yes, we are blessed far beyond anything I ever imagined, but what about the desires of your heart?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dave Ramsey Would Be So Proud!

Last week we paid off our last credit card. Forever. As in, we have no more 'bad' debt. A very surreal experience to be sure.

We've been on the Dave Ramsey Snowball/Baby Step plan for several years now, and the fruit coming out of obedient to God in our finances is just flippin' amazing! I don't say any of this so you're jealous (if you have debt), or think we're all awesome. I say this to give all glory to the Lord, because there's no way we would've done this without Him.

This particular card we paid off used to be the Discover card CC rocked all through college, the one debt we've never been able to shake since we got married. TEN years ago. Ridiculous, I know.

But it's gone. For good. The only debt we currently have now is our student loan debt from college. Which we plan to do away with ASAP. We're personally hoping it's gone in the next year, but our hopes might be a bit high for that, so we'll see.

God is so amazing! I can't wait until this new reality sinks in. It's still pretty surreal right now. But SUPER COOL!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Oh The Amazing Goodness That Is Blueberry Pie!

CC's parents, aka Mom & Dad, came to town for a visit on Saturday. We love them dearly and always enjoy our time with them. How fitting that they were here for Mom's Day! Mom is rarely with one of her actual kids on the actual day, so she was over the moon excited. She got the royal treatment for sure! Here she is with CC Sunday night after all the hoopla...

And here is what I'm still dreaming of...

For real, this should be its own post, but I'm being lazy (it's Monday and I have to be super productive another time). I'd been craving blueberry pie and since blueberries came in last week's produce box from the co-op, it was a Heavenly sign. Since I was off Friday rocking the stay-at-home-wife-job, I went for it.

Hubby'd for whatever reason last week, requested a homemade pie crust. He didn't care what was in it, so it seemed a win-win. I went for it. Important Announcement: I am now officially a pie crust SNOB! I used to make homemade pie crust a lot growing up, but haven't done it in about ten years. I figured Pillsbury did a good enough job. Um, that would be a big fat resounding NO.

Flaky, buttery, golden brown goodness right there. You can't say no, so don't even try. It was super easy too, so I whipped up an extra batch of the crust dough (each batch makes two). So I have some in the fridge just biding its sweet time until I can come to terms with eating yet another entire pie by myself. (Okay, I didn't actually do that- I would've but we had card-playing friends over that night to help me.)

Yeah, it was that good.

For those of you wanting to know, the dough recipe came from this month's May issue of Everyday Food magazine, specifically the recipe included with the Blueberry-Cream Cheese Hand Pies recipe. I didn't have cream cheese, so I didn't do that, but the dough recipe for the crust is there. I did bake it differently- I used my actual blueberry pie recipe for that part, so I need to rewrite my recipe card now.

 Once you've got the crust dough made and chilled in the fridge for the required hour (or more), get your pie ready, bake at 450 for 15 minutes. Then turn down the oven to 350, and bake for another 40 or so minutes. Perfection. Perfection In A Pan.

Go make it now. It'll make Monday worth it.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

My Newest Obsession

I have discovered a new obsession. Hubby is sensing the impending cloud of doom. Our finances are in serious trouble. Be prepared.

You have been warned... (scroll down if you want to join my cult learn more of my obsession)

The fabric on Etsy is AMAZING! Super cute fabrics and much of it is cheaper than I could find locally. I put full blame for this new craze on Julie.

Especially when I find a new blog I fall in love with, but also in general, I like to go back to the beginning and catch up on past blog posts. Well, Julie's been blogging for a while so it's taking me a long time. This may sound stalkerish, but I find it fascinating. Usually you find out more about this new far-away friend that you may not know from current posts, you see what's important throughout different phases of life, and it's just fun.

All that to say, Julie's past posts especially lately have been full of sewing, crafting goodness. Oh the goodness! I've been ITCHING to get back to my sewing machine, but to budget in the unknown cost of various projects is still a bit tricky for us, so we end up winging it (sometimes that gets me in trouble!). Anyway, I've been going nuts to create some fabricy (it's a word, I promise) goodness, and Julie's posts about fabric on etsy finally pulled me in.

Now before we go further, you must know how typically extremely picky about fabric I am. The reason this is a new obsession for me is because I have never been able to imagine (much less do it) buying fabric without first seeing it in person. It's a completely different experience and to me, besides enjoying the finished product, choosing the fabric is my favorite part of the project. I love trolling up and down the aisles to find just the perfect combination for that special someone.

However, there are such CUTE and pretty fabrics on etsy that the idea of having a stockpile of fun fabrics to pull from on a lazy Saturday morning is VERY enticing (pretty please, CC? I could sew while you sleep in! Win-win!)!

Here are a few I adore...

Amy Butler is of course one of my favorites!

Etsy Source

 These little lions are adorable! They'd make for a happy day, don't you think?
Etsy Source

My beloved mother-in-law is a missionary and one of her favorite places she often travels to is the Ukraine. As part of this, she has developed a love for Russian dolls in all their varieties. I think she'd particularly fall in love with this cuteness!
Etsy Source

This guitar fabric is just awesome! Makes me want to learn to play!
Etsy Source

These are just a FEW of the amazing fabrics I'm in love with. There are SO many on there and I want them all. My birthday is only three months away if anyone's looking to surprise me. ;-D (Yeah, yeah, I know...)

Half the fun is dreaming of what you could do with the goodness that is fabric. In the meantime, CC's parents are coming to town on Saturday and staying for a little while. We have Missions Exchange Week next week, and their being missionaries is part of that. Yay that we get to visit with them while they're here too! I can't wait!

Monday, May 07, 2012

What The What?!

I saw this little orange beauty pop on yesterday on the way to church. Hubby and I immediately turned around, went home, and went back to church in his car. (I'm getting lots of feedback that most folks just keep on driving when that light comes on-- seems like that would do more damage to me, but this seems to be the shocking part of the tale to folks.)

Anyway, we took my beloved-not-made-anymore-so-praying-it's-not-really-dead car in to the shop to find out what was causing the light to come on. "A couple" hours later (dear mr. mechanic man, six hours does NOT equal a couple, but I digress.), Hubby gets The Call.

Apparently, there are things which can trigger the engine light to come on, things that mean "nothing's actually wrong, but because your car's so old, we think you need a warning that you need to be saving your money for when major expensive things on this car die" kind of things.

The good news is nothing's actually wrong with the car. YET. The bad news is that it seems like a matter of time. Oh, and apparently my car had quite a few recalls we weren't aware of (WHAT?!), so the parts have been ordered to take care of those. (So what does that mean? I might die while the parts are being shipped?!)

I didn't know your engine light could be triggered by just the possibility of a catastrophe, but apparently it can. Now we've all learned something today.

Praise the Lord that nothing's truly wrong, and we were able to take Malachi (my car, named after Malachi 3) to get checked out right away!

Thursday, May 03, 2012

May PinterTest Kitchen!

As you all know by now, I am woefully behind with posting and especially with Jessica's PinterTest Kitchen. Woefully behind. As much as I love it, the past few months have been INSANEly busy. No excuse, so here goes.

To catch up, I'm only posting my most recent PinterTest, which was to make these yogurt drops. I grew up on yogurt and now I can't stand the texture of it. Too much gag reflex happens with yogurt for it to be worth it to me. Hubby also does not like the texture, much less the tangy taste of yogurt. But every once in a while, I try yogurt again-- it's uber healthy and good for you. Sigh. Yet I hate it.

A lot of folks interested in this pin have already done this, but I hadn't yet. The reason I especially was interested in this one is because multiple folks have said they don't like yogurt, but they like these! I wanted to make these to see if my yogurt-hating hubby would maybe actually like them.

Well the unfortunate thing is he hasn't tried them yet, but I will say they're extremely easy and quick to make. All you do is choose the flavor yogurt you want (I'd heard the Key Lime Pie was a winner.), put it in a ziploc, snip off the corner, and go to town on some parchment before freezing the whole thing for an hour. Easy peasy. Done. You don't even have to turn on the oven! (Which I appreciate now that it's 93 degrees outside. On May 03. Sigh.)

I chose Strawberry for my drops, and Orange Creme for his (thinking that would be more enticing to CC). I tried them both and here's my verdict: They definitely make yogurt easier to swallow (literally), but they still tasted like yogurt once they melted in my mouth. I still hope CC will try them, but I'm not thinking we've found a solution yet.

In the meantime, I can only promise to do better updating ol' bloggie here and  keeping you apprised of ALL my PinterTesting!

Linking up with Jessica for this month's PinterTest Kitchen...
The flavors (no clue if Yoplait's any good, but it was there)

The before (sorry, I didn't get an after)